At Temple University’s Fox School of Business, students know that networking is crucial to professional success. That’s why they are helping local high school students perfect their personal elevator pitches.
Students from Temple’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (Temple AMA) are collaborating this semester with Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, a private high school located in North Philadelphia, to work with its students on professional development.
In January, the Fox School hosted juniors and seniors from Cristo Rey to share tips on personal and professional presentation skills and communication skills in a formal environment. Temple AMA members plan on visiting Cristo Rey’s North Philadelphia campus in May 2017, when its members plan to speak to the student body at large.
The initial activity was part of “Project: Career,” a networking initiative between the Fox School and Cristo Rey. Cristo Rey combines academic curriculum with professional work experience. Each student, in grades 9 through 12, works a real job for real wages five days each month. This affords Cristo Rey’s students the professional development opportunities they will need at the next level, and substantially reduces their tuition at the school.
Cristo Rey’s ideals align well with those of Temple AMA, said Mina Kwong, the student organization’s Director of Social Impact.
“Our mission is to transform students’ lives,” said Kwong, 20. “We provide students with opportunities to enhance their marketing skills, knowledge and personal networks. We want to do that through community service and social impact.”
At the Project: Career event, Cristo Rey’s students received mentorship from Fox School marketing majors on their college experiences, and their academic careers within the program.
“Our students really enjoyed the event,” said Joanna Wusinich, Director of the Work-Study Program at Cristo Rey. “They saw it as an opportunity to get their feet wet and get comfortable networking. All of our students have four years worth of internship experience under their belts, so I think they took a lot of pride in being able to talk about their work history.”
Wusinich said she first learned about Temple AMA two years ago, and the two groups have been working together ever since. The goal for each, she said, is to foster growth through collaboration.
“We wanted to bring Cristo Rey’s students to our business setting and open up their eyes,” Kwong said. “That’s something that is valuable for them, in learning about us. It’s a learning opportunity for us, as well. It’s so eye-opening to see that their students have lots of internship experience. It’s really inspiring.”
Cristo Rey’s graduating seniors in the class of 2016 achieved a 100-percent college acceptance rate, which according to Wusinich demonstrates the school’s biggest impact in the determination of its students.
“The confidence of our seniors—I know that is directly related to the willingness of Temple’s students to coach them and prep them for the event,” said Wusinich. “The Temple American Marketing Association has really stood out for its professionalism and level of maturity, and serves as a strong example and as role models for our students.”
Temple AMA only recently established the Social Impact Committee headed by Kwong. She said its involvement with Cristo Rey is just the beginning of what could be achieved by the organization and in its future collaborations. The group is actively looking for more opportunities through which it can have a positive impact in Philadelphia.
“We’re very grateful for the partnership with Temple AMA,” said Wusinich. “It’s been a pleasure working with them and we’re looking forward to growing and building this relationship with them.”